Friday, February 13, 2009

The first lesson of economics is scarcity

The first lesson of economics is scarcity: There is never enough of anything to satisfy all those who want it. The first lesson of politics is to disregard the first lesson of economics.

Thomas Sowell

By Barry Ritholtz - February 13th, 2009, 4:00PM
Sometime this year, taxpayers will receive an Economic Stimulus Payment. This is a very exciting new program that I will explain using the Q and A format:

Q. What is an Economic Stimulus Payment?
A. It is money that the federal government will send to taxpayers.

Q. Where will the government get this money?
A. From taxpayers.

Q. So the government is giving me back my own money?
A. No, they are borrowing it from China. Your children are expected to repay the Chinese.

Q. What is the purpose of this payment?
A. The plan is that you will use the money to purchase a high-definition TV set, thus stimulating the economy.

Q. But isn’t that stimulating the economy of China ?
A. Shut up.

Below is some helpful advice on how to best help the US economy by spending your stimulus check wisely:
If you spend that money at Wal-Mart, all the money will go to China.
If you spend it on gasoline it will go to Hugo Chavez, the Arabs and Al Queda
If you purchase a computer it will go to Taiwan.
If you purchase fruit and vegetables it will go to Mexico, Honduras, and Guatemala (unless you buy organic).
If you buy a car it will go to Japan and Korea.
If you purchase prescription drugs it will go to India
If you purchase heroin it will go to the Taliban in Afghanistan
If you give it to a charitable cause, it will go to Nigeria.

And none of it will help the American economy. We need to keep that money here in America. You can keep the money in America by spending it at yard sales, going to a baseball game, or spend it on prostitutes, beer (domestic only), or tattoos, since those are the only businesses still in the US.

View article...

No really - View the article on The Big Picture


  1. It seems the snake cannot eat anymore of it's tail. I'm surprised no one is commenting on any of the articles, with the slow down people should have extra time on their hands.

  2. Sorry, I haven't had a chance to comment... been traveling some the last two weeks, and have some sort of sinus infection which doesn't help. Sinus infections on planes are not fun at all.

    I was able to listen to some radio shows about the stimulus bill, and I am a bit disappointed in all the "what's in it for me" calls-ins. One person actually asked "Will the stimulus bill help me pay for my vacation home in Aspen?"

    I can't really comment on the posts here, because they are sooooo skewed as to be merely imflamatory. I'd have to do some research, which I have not made time for.

    Based on my limited information, I seem to recall both the Dems and Reps worked together on the first draft of the stimulus bill - where some concessions were made to Reps for tax cuts measures. But, the Reps still refused to vote for it - even after they agreed to the changes.
    So, why should the Dems bend over backwards and write a Rep bill, when the people voted for the Dems to write it?

    They had 48 hours to review the changes... they should have already read the whole bill based on the initial draft they helped to write.

    It does seem that "bipartisan" has been interpreted to mean - "do it my way" - especially from the Rep camp (based on both the last 8 years, and current events).

    It will be interesting to see if the Rep governors really do refuse to allow their states to accept any stimulus money. Hey, if they can get their states' economies going without it - more power to them! If they can prove the Rep way is the best way on a small scale - I'd vote for them in a heart beat.

    Only problem is... we tried the Rep way for over 6 years... and it seems to have made the problem worse, not better.


You are not entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to your informed opinion. No one is entitled to be ignorant.

Harlan Ellison